New York today – Still a city of promise?

“New York City is a beacon to the world,” proclaimed New York Mayor Bill di Blasio in 2019, “because we are a city of immigrants. We will always stand up for our immigrant and refugee neighbors. No one can change that. Whether you arrived here 100 years ago or 100 days ago, you are New Yorkers. Together, we are#AlwaysNYC.” 11Bill di Blasio, New York City Mayor Introduction in: NYC MAYOR’S OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS. Services for Recently Arrived Immigrants. Resource and Referral Guide July 2019. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/immigrants/downloads/pdf/english_immigration_guide.pdf (Jun. 19, 2022) New York proudly defines itself as a Sanctuary City – a city of (safe) refuge. Since its founding as Nieuw Amsterdam in 1624, the city has relied on the arrival of immigrants and refugees to shape its own self-image. The promise of protection, but also of a future for refugees, is still cultivated for New York City today. Nevertheless, today’s understanding of New York City as a city of refuge is highly contradictory: on the one hand, as Mayor Bill di Blasio propagated, New York is a city that welcomes all arrivals, whether immigrants or refugees, as New Yorkers, but on the other hand it is one with constantly rising living costs and a lack of housing that simply makes it impossible for many migrants to seek refuge and settle down.

    Footnotes

  • 1Bill di Blasio, New York City Mayor Introduction in: NYC MAYOR’S OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS. Services for Recently Arrived Immigrants. Resource and Referral Guide July 2019. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/immigrants/downloads/pdf/english_immigration_guide.pdf (Jun. 19, 2022)

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Chapters 1